break away

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break away

1. Literally, to escape from physical restraints. The robber had tied me to a chair, but I was able to break away and flee the house. I had to chase my dog down the street after he broke away during our walk.
2. By extension, to move away or separate from someone or something. I'm starting to break away from the religious tradition I was raised in. That 10-game win streak really helped them to break away from the other teams in the conference. Ultimately, she had to break away from her family and their dysfunctional ways in order to be healthy.
3. To leave or stop a particular activity. I know you have to finish this paper, but can you break away for a bit and talk to your grandparents?
See also: away, break

break something away (from something)

to break a part or piece of something away from the whole. She broke a bit away and popped it into her mouth. Todd broke away a piece from the bar of candy.
See also: away, break

break away

 (from someone) and break free (from someone); break loose (from someone)
1. Lit. to get free of the physical hold of someone. I tried to break away from him, but he was holding me too tight. She broke free from him, at last. I broke free from the intruder.
2. Fig. to sever a relationship with another person, especially the parent-child relationship. He found it hard to break away from his mother. She was almost thirty before she finally broke free.
See also: away, break

break away

1. Leave hurriedly, escape, get loose. For example, The boy tried to break away, but his mother held onto his coat, or On the last lap the horse broke away from the pack. [First half of 1500s]
2. Sever connections with a group. For example, It was hard for me to break away from that organization, but I knew it was necessary.
3. Stop doing something, as in She broke away from work long enough to go out for lunch.
See also: away, break

break away

v.
1. To separate or detach something in order to clear a space: It was easier to dig through the snow once we had broken the icy crust away.
2. To separate or detach oneself: Our politics began to change, so we broke away from the political party we had belonged to. The ice on the shore began to break away once the weather got warmer.
3. To move rapidly away from or ahead of a group: The cyclist broke away from the pack and was soon very far ahead.
See also: away, break
References in periodicals archive ?
The BIFF is the armed wing of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), which broke away from the MILF over disagreements regarding the conduct of peace talks with the government.
GOING IT ALONE: Finbar Furey has followed a successful solo career since he broke away from the band of brothers that he led
At 18-5 the game looked secure, but with minutes to go Fylde twice broke away from their own line and the B&S backs had no answer to the Fylde speed men.
The pair broke away after 35 miles and had a maximum lead of 1-45 before the heat took its toll on Cadd, who dropped back and was caught by a chasing quartet close to the line.
It is believed he broke away from his mum and ran into the road.
In time, different Roma social groups broke away from the parent population and founded new, isolated communities around the world.
"I know how much it cost - and how much heartache there was-back in 1998 when the top 10 broke away. I was Partick chairman then and I really don't want to go through that again, cert ainly not until we have had an awful lot more talks.
Craig Venter broke away from the National Institutes of Health in the late 1990s to start a private venture that would go head-to-head with the government agency in the race to map the human genome.
He broke away from a formation of parachutists who jumped from a plane at 2,000 feet.
The new ice section broke away some time before March 23, as the Antarctic summer turned to winter.
Claire, 24, said yesterday: "I thought nothing would stop bingo, but they broke away for 20 minutes to help me have my baby."
The 19th-century poet Coleridge broke away from the conventions of his day by pushing the limits of form.
Before long, its bow broke away and sank, fires erupted, oil began to leak into the sea, and the crew abandoned ship.
The team reported experiments demonstrating that chick-embryo endothelial cells placed atop a gel layer in a petri dish broke away from their neighbors and started to travel into the gel when exposed to adherons isolated from the cardiac jelly of embryonic chick hearts.